Thailand: UN human rights chief demands swift probe into killings

29 October 2004

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has called upon authorities in Thailand to comply with international law by thoroughly investigating the killing earlier this week of 87 demonstrators in the southern part of the country.

Expressing her concern over the incident, Mrs. Arbour also urged authorities to allow 130 detainees to have access to their family members, lawyers and doctors while making sure that they were not subjected to any cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

"It is important that investigation into these events, which have reportedly been requested by the authorities, not only be swift, independent and thorough, but that it be seen to be so, with results made public," Mrs. Arbour said in a statement yesterday. "This is crucial in bringing to justice people that may be responsible for violations as well as in preventing a climate of impunity from taking hold."

The High Commissioner said she remained worried about reports from southern Thailand alleging the use of arbitrary arrests, the continued disappearance of human rights defenders and a mounting number of deaths.


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